Permira, CVC Capital and Bain Capital have been shortlisted for the second round of bidding for Bellsystem24, Citigroup's telemarketing company in Japan, sources with direct knowledge of the deal said.

The sale of Bellsystem24 is expected to fetch more than $1 billion, making it the largest acquisition involving foreign private equity firms in Japan in about 2 years, and marking the latest in a series of asset sales by Citigroup.

A joint bid by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co [KKR.UL] and trading house Itochu Corp for Bellsystem24 did not put them on the shortlist, four sources said, asking not to be identified because the bidding process is not public.

(Reporting by Junko Fujita, Wakako Sato and Emi Emoto; Editing by Hans Peters)